In China, huge strides are already being made when it comes to integrating education students with artificial intelligence.
In July 2017, China’s highest governmental body, the State Council, introduced the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (NGAIDP). It was aimed at connecting AI with most parts of life in China, including healthcare, transportation, government and education. With a plan to becoming a world leader in AI by 2030, the NGAIDP roadmap, released by the Communist Party’s powerful State Council emphasised on increased education in AI at primary and middle schools.
If we talk about education, the Chinese have been working on creating intelligent education. The Chinese government’s ambitious plan would require huge amounts of research in AI, supported by professionals trained in the technology. The Chinese government has set 2030 as the deadline to integrate AI with the Chinese infrastructure. In this regard, huge strides are already being made when it comes to educating the populace using AI. This way China is working to not only making its young population familiarise with the technology, but it is also revolutionising how education is being imparted. According to an estimate, China led the way in over $1 billion invested globally last year in AI education.
Startups Are Spearheading AI In Chinese Education Industry
The integration of AI with the education sector in China is also growing fast, particularly after the government incentivised the use of AI through tax breaks. Chinese tech startups have ramped up AI projects under the government’s support and secured funding from investors. Many of those projects have been launched in the country’s schools for creating intelligent education systems.
Squirrel AI is one such startup which raised over $180 million in funding and surpassed $1 billion in valuation. The company has opened 2,000 learning centres in 200 Chinese cities and signed up over a million students. The company created its learning system to capture all the data created in learning sessions. The startup’s technology maps a student’s gaps in understanding as precisely as possible using a knowledge graph created using machine-learning algorithms. The system updates its model based on the understanding of a given student and adjust the curriculum accordingly. Squirrel AI is already in discussion with several schools in China to adopt its technology as the primary form of learning system which emphasises on a learner-focused classroom environment.
What’s The Situation In India?
India has a large young population like China and so it desperately needs a developed education sector to propel the country towards a great future. Unfortunately, our education system is infamous for inefficiencies, which impedes student learning. As digital means of collecting data goes up in India’s education sector, it will become imperative for India to leverage that to deliver improved education and teaching methodologies. Here, India can learn a lot in terms of how learning can be made more intuitive and useful for students by integrating AI tools. AI-based platforms can also substitute quality teachers as there is also a grave shortage.
Research shows that over 300 Indian startups use AI in their core product offering and out of that 11 % are in the education sector. While this is a great sign that there is progress being made to make education efficient using AI, no single application in this regard has come on top in India, as opposed to China where we can see multiple of such companies. Currently, the need of the hour is AI in the classroom. AI in India’s education sector can be deployed to recognise gaps in the learning of the student and give real-time solutions. The technology can also identify areas where teachers are outnumbered by students and create optimised learning programs that impact the largest number of students.
China has been at the forefront of using AI to give tens of millions of Chinese students and teachers advanced tools of learning. While there are some privacy violations in the country when it comes to analysing facial expressions of students, those are still useful for optimising classroom lessons.
The availability of good quality teachers is something large nations are struggling with and AI can be tremendously useful in this challenge. It can also help teachers manage students and keep track of their performance to create a highly personalised learning experience. This is even more applicable for a country like India where personalised learning can help students actually understand the subject matter instead of just memorising like parrots.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM) and writes on the latest in the world of analytics, AI and other emerging technologies. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for IDG CIO and ComputerWorld. Write to him at email@example.com